Apple Wants a “Friendlier, More Approachable” PR Chief After Losing Katie Cotton

Tim Cook is personally involved with the hiring process, sources say

After letting its head of PR Katie Cotton go, Apple CEO Tim Cook is on the lookout for a new communications chief, but one with “a friendlier, more approachable face,” according to sources in position to know.

re/code has it on file from these people that “CEO Tim Cook is overseeing the search, aiming to find some high-profile external candidates for consideration. And he’s paying particular attention to those he believes could put a friendlier, more approachable face on Apple’s public relations efforts.”

Cotton has been profiled by re/code’s Kara Swisher recently. The piece in question reveals that not everyone was a fan of Cotton, and that Cotton herself wasn’t a fan of anyone basically, but that she did a brilliant job for Apple under Steve Jobs’ lead, and even under Tim Cook.

The media’s personal vendettas with Cotton had nothing to do with her departure from 1 Infinite Loop, with the former PR chief stating in an interview, “This is hard for me. Apple is a part of my heart and soul.”

That being said, Apple is now looking outside of its organization to hire someone to head the company’s public relations efforts. The Mac maker usually grooms and grows internal staffers to take up leadership roles, but in this case, Tim Cook has his mind set of importing new talent.

It is being speculated that if neither Steve Dowling, nor Natalie Kerris eventually gets promoted to PR chief, they could be willing to resign. It’s not unlikely, considering that these people worked their rears off to serve Apple all these years. Imagine being in their shoes and having to report to someone outside of the Apple cult who has just gotten a fancy office from Tim Cook.

Apple is also letting Peter Oppenheimer go this year. Having already ceded the CFO chair to Luca Maestri, Oppenheimer is known to be leaving in September.

CEO Tim Cook said in March, “Peter has served as our CFO for the past decade as Apple’s annual revenue grew from $8 billion to $171 billion and our global footprint expanded dramatically. His guidance, leadership and expertise have been instrumental to Apple’s success, not only as our CFO but also in many areas beyond finance, as he frequently took on additional activities to assist across the company.”

Apple has also hired a lot of new people this year, most notably two music industry heavyweights, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, as part of the Beats Electronics/Music acquisition.

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